When I decided to give myself a birthday present there wasn’t much question that there would be some sort of cycling involved. Those days with zero’s attached could be looked at as just another day, but in reality they carry more weight for us. This wouldn’t be my first trip to Europe with bikes involved, but this time around I wasn’t going to be wrenching on cross bikes, or watching my friends play in the mud. This trip was going to be food and fun based entirely, and I wanted to go somewhere that offered great riding, and options for off the bike exploring.
When I felt the pop in my knee I instinctively knew things weren’t likely to be the same in my athletic career. My first love was running, but my orthopedic surgeon told me that I should start thinking about something else...when he suggested swimming I cringed and asked “how about cycling?” and when he said “yes, but use low gears” my heart lifted. I’d grown up riding around the neighborhood on my trusty Schwinn, and for transportation through high school, but college and cars had intervened. An odd accident was what steered me back onto the life path I’m still on to this day.
When I began my cycling journey it was on a hand-me-down Schwinn convertible my sister had outgrown, and casually discarded in our barn. Something drew me to it, and the promise of greater mobility and freedom it offered. I taught myself by trial and error, no training wheels, and no parent pushing from behind, and soon discovered that the scrapes and bruises were well worth the cost.